Woman of the Century/Anna Rankin Riggs
RIGGS, Mrs. Anna Rankin, temperance reformer, was born in Cynthiana, Ky. Her parents removed to Illinois when she was two years of age. Her maiden name was Anna Rankin. The education of the children was carried on at home, until each child could walk the long distance to the public school, and Anna was eleven years old when er progress demanded and secured better educational advantages in a distant school. She was her widowed mother's right hand and the sharer of all her cares during the years that followed Mr. Rankin's early death. While still in her teens she became the wife of Mr. Riggs. When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Riggs went to the front with one of the many regiments from Illinois. His active service continued to the close of the war, and a captain's commission was the reward of his bravery. The young wife beguiled those years with study, and in 1864 she spent eight months with her husband in field and camp in the southwestern department. Failing health banished her from those exciting scenes, and she returned to Bloomington. Ill., to resume her studies as her strength returned. Eighteen years she lived in that city. Bloomington is the seat of the Illinois Wesleyan University, and when the woman's chair of English literature was created, she aided in securing an endowment that made it perpetual in the institution. The young ladies' boarding-hall was one of the objects for which she labored. She left Bloomington for Oregon in the winter of 1882. When the temperance crusade swept over the country, she was watching by the bed of a dying sister. It was not until a later period she was free to join the white-ribbon army, in whose ranks she has won so many honors. When the "Union Signal" was struggling for existence, she was one of the board of managers, active in the successful efforts that won a place for that child of the crusade among leading journals. When she went to Oregon, Portland had no home for destitute women and girls, no rescue station to shelter those lost in the dark haunts of a city, and the intelligence office at the Woman's Christian Temperance Union headquarters was so often appealed to by that unfortunate class that in 1887 the Portland " Union," under the auspices of Mrs. Riggs and a few noble women, opened an industrial home. The institution was kept afloat by great exertions and personal sacrifice, until it was merged into a refuge home and incorporated under the laws of the State. Its indefatigable president has twice presented its claims in the halls of the legislature, and secured handsome appropriations for its maintenance. She has also started a fund to secure a permanent home for the institution. Six years ago she was elected president of the Oregon Woman's Christian Temperance Union In 1891 she started the "Oregon White Ribbon." which has been a success. A prominent feature of her work in Oregon has been her school of methods, which has been an inspiration to the local unions in their department work. In November. 1891, she was a delegate to attend the World's and national conventions in Boston. She has recently been elected president of the International Chautauqua Association for the Northwest Coast. She has been a christian from early womanhood, is a member of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, one of a corps of teachers who are making its Sabbath-school a success. She is a talented speaker. Her home is in her brother's elegant residence on Portland Heights, Portland Mr. and Mrs. Riggs are childless, but they have adopted three orphan children.